It was in the insulation industry that asbestos as a source material found good favor. It was inexpensive and could be mixed with other compounds adding to its versatility. It was a poor conductor of electricity, which made it perfect for insulation purposes, especially in the larger types of heating systems that were needed for commercial applications.
Ehret Fiber Felt was manufactured by the Ehret Magnesia Manufacturing Company, and was used for roofing, especially built-up roofing, in which layers of felt were covered with coatings of hot asphalt. Other uses included products used in the ship building industry, fireproofing and other such applications. It was during the Second World War that the use of these asbestos-containing fiber felts reached its zenith. Its affordability and insulation properties made fiber felt a hugely in demand product, and it was supplied to a number of companies that were involved in the war effort.
It wasn’t until the end of the war, and many years after, that the true consequences of using the fiber felt came out. Thousands of people contracted a hitherto unknown disease that caused hardening of the lining of the lungs or pleura. This painful disease which was usually fatal within one to two years of surfacing, was called pleural mesothelioma, and was responsible for thousands of fatalities over the next few decades.
In the seventies, the government awakened to the dangers of asbestos inhalation and imposed a ban on certain compounds; the use of asbestos in housing and construction products and other supplies stopped. But the ban did not do away with all forms of asbestos. Even today, there are unknown amounts of asbestos lying undiscovered inside buildings. They cover heating pipes as insulation, and are found inside heating ducts. They are part of the insulation products that cover your boiler systems, and are present in tiles and shingles. Most of this asbestos is not dangerous, as long as it’s not disturbed. When it crumbles or dissolves however, the asbestos fibers are released into the air to be inhaled by those inside the building.
Abatement of asbestos is a complex procedure, and is an absolute must if you live in an older building, which more than likely has traces of asbestos in the construction materials used. Every day that you spend in a building that has asbestos sources inside, you expose yourself to dangers, however minute, that can compound to erupt into full blown mesothelioma or asbestos in the future. An experienced asbestos abatement contractor or technician will be fully equipped to remove the asbestos without contaminating the environment.